Wait, is Charles really dead on PLL?

Warning: Spoilers for Pretty Little Liars, season six, ahead.

Holy mother of Mona, PLL dropped a huge bomb last week. Ali and Jason’s dad admitted that Charles DiLaurentis, everyone’s number one A suspect, is indeed their long-lost older brother. Mr. D revealed that Charles was sent to Radley Sanitarium after trying to drown baby Ali in a bathtub — sounds like A material to us.

But there’s just one itty bitty tiny reason that Charles might not be the masked monster behind Ali’s recent stint in jail or the Liars’ three weeks of dollhouse torture: Charles is dead.


According to Mr. DiLaurentis, Charles killed himself in Radley when he was 16, which makes him totally unavailable to be sending Hanna, Aria, Spencer, and Emily threatening text messages, much less kidnapping them. This new information completely contradicts what we learned in the season five finale: Charles is supposed to be A! We had a #CharlesisA hashtag for goodness sake. Back in March, the show’s creator, Marlene King, even said in a video, “Charles is A, without a doubt, okay? You heard it here, Charles is A.”

So what are we supposed to believe? In the past, Marlene also alluded to the fact that fans will recognize Charles/A/him/her/it when the black hoodie finally comes off at the end of this summer (trusting that the #SummerofAnswers hashtag isn’t lying, too). If Charles is being played by an actor that we would already recognize, then he must be Ali-dead, not dead-dead.

In last week’s episode, Hanna pretty much summed up the entire PLL fandom’s feelings when she refused to believe that Charles kicked the bucket: “No body, no grave, no proof.” Pics or it didn’t happen, basically. Given that we’ve seen bodies (Mona’s) and graves (Ali’s) of people in Rosewood who are still very much alive and kickin’, we kind of wanted Hanna to dig up whatever is buried under Charles’ headstone. Maybe she would have found a coffin filled with all of our dearly departed fan theories.

And what about Charles’ conveniently half-finished Radley file? It doesn’t say anything about an overdose or a release. Maybe Mrs. D snuck him out of there and lied to her husband. That headstone in her aunt’s backyard could just be a leftover Halloween decoration. If Mrs. D helped Charles fake his own death, he could still be A.

But if Charles is really dead (dead-dead, not Ali-dead), then what’s his connection to A? Why did A want Spencer to know that name? Why did Marlene want us to know that name?

The odds that Charles is alive are about 50/50. In Rosewood, those are actually pretty good odds.

(Images via here, here, here, and here.)